Different types of weaves in Luxury Linens.

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Different types of weaves in bed sheets

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There are several choices of fabrics and weaves available in bed sheets. Below we discuss some of the other weaves. But we think it is safe to say, by far the most popular weaves are either Sateen (not satin) & Percale. 

The differences in cotton weaving isn’t horribly exciting, but knowing the difference will help you select the ones that best fit your likes. 

Cotton, cotton/poly, sateen, percale, jersey - what does it all mean? 

One of the first things you might want to consider is their country of origin. 

  • European Linens are some of the finest linens made in the world.
  • Italian Linens are the benchmark.
  • Most times, price is a good indicator of a good bed sheet, you know the adage – you get what you pay for. With bed linens, this is also true and it is hard to tell by just looking at the package.

Sateen (not to be confused with satin). 

  • Sateen is a weave that has a slight sheen and smooth finish.
  • It is the most elegant of the weaves.
  • Sateen sheets are available in thread counts ranging from 200 to 1200 threads per square inch.
  • A sateen (cotton) yarn is woven with a single weft yarn that passes over/under one or more warp yarns (this weave allows patterns such as stripes, etc. to be woven into fabric). 
  • The fabric should also have a silky hand or feel. sheen 

Sateen Bed sheets offer that super soft silky feel  

Never, ever, buy satin sheets. 

  • Most of the satin you see is synthetic, it is easily snagged, slippery, and wrinkles.
    • Some silk sheets can be classified as satin as well, but they have similar characteristics to synthetics and are expensive.
  • Satin & silk fabrics do not wick moisture or breathe as well as cotton. Silk and satin can be hot and sticky next to your skin – yuck!
  • This is not your luxury indulgence. 

Percale Weave. 

  • Percale weaves are available in thread counts ranging from 150 to 800 threads per square inch.
    • Look for at least 200 thread count, but make sure it is a good grade cotton.
  • The hand (feel) of the fabric is velvety and has a slight nap.
  • When ironed, percale offers a “crisp” yet soft feel next to your skin. 
    • Percale bed sheets offer that “cooler” feeling sheet.
  • With a percale weave, a weft yarn is wrapped under a single warp yarn then over the next warp yarn (effectively one warp yarn over one weft yarn, then under one weft yarn and so on).

Percale weaves offer that cool crisp, velvety feel to the touch 

Twill weave. 

  • Twill fabrics are woven with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs. Twill is occasionally found in bed linens.
  • The ribbed pattern however, may feel rough to the touch.

 Twill bed linens  

Jersey Knit. 

  • Underwear or casual T-shirts are often a jersey knit. They can be either a cotton or a cotton/synthetic blend.
  • Jersey tends to be soft and clingy.  It is not as robust as a sateen or percale weave. 
  • Jersey knit is often produced from lower grades of cotton, causing it to pill easily.  


  • Flannel fabric has a napped finish. Because of the nap, this weave provides additional surface area which traps more air and provides additional insulation.
  • Think of these as your Grandma’s sheets.  
    • If you are living in Alaska, you get a pass, however, this isn't a luxurious (or romantic) sheet. 

Thread Count, if all things are equal (same grade of cotton, same weave, etc.), becomes a variable. 

  • Keep in mind, you can find a better feeling sheet with 200 thread sheet made from a great grade of cotton than a 600 thread count sheet made from a poor grade. 
  • To understand why thread count is not that important click here. 

You may have spent more on a pair of shoes then a great set of sheets and your sheets will never go out of style, they won’t hurt your feet as some high fashion shoes will and you will love them every night for the next 6 to 10 years. 

  • You deserve to pamper yourself a little – don’t you? 

Okay, now you know everything you ever needed to know about bed linen weaves and then some.

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Extra Long Staple Cotton

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